The World Rugby Council today awarded the Rugby World Cup 2023 to France, which was selected following two rounds of voting during its interim meeting in London.
The vote comes as a shock just two weeks after an independent report recommended South Africa as the preferred hosts for the tournament. Ireland were also in the running.
France received 24 votes to South Africa’s 15 in the final round of voting. In the first round, France received 18 votes to South Africa’s 13 and Ireland’s eight.
Following today’s vote, France will be hosting rugby’s showcase men’s event for the second time and hosting the 10th edition of the event 200 years after William Webb Ellis gave birth to the sport. World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said:
Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid, which clearly resonated with the Council today.
We had three outstanding host candidates, who raised the bar and overwhelmingly demonstrated that they were all capable of hosting an exceptional Rugby World Cup. There was very little to choose between the candidates and this was reflected in the independently-audited evaluation report.
I would like to pay tribute to Ireland and South Africa for their dedication throughout a rigorous, and transparent process and hope that they will bid again. We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023.